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Decision : CONF 203 XIV.1-11
Revision of the Operational Guidelines for the Implementation of the World Heritage Convention

Revision of the Operational Guidelines for the Implementation of the World Heritage Convention

XIV.1 The Committee examined Working Documents WHC-98/CONF.203/16 and WHC-98/CONF.203/16Add. The Committee reviewed the following proposed revisions to the Operational Guidelines for the Implementation of the World Heritage Convention:


XIV.2 The Committee recalled that it had already decided under item 9 of the agenda (see Chapter IX of this report) that the Centre should work with the advisory bodies to further develop Section I of the Operational Guidelines and submit them to the twenty-third ordinary session of the Bureau.

XIV.3 The Chairperson, while referring to the earlier decision to inscribe East Rennell (Solomon Islands), proposed to include a reference to traditional protection in paragraph 44 b(vi) of the Operational Guidelines. The Delegate of Thailand stated that, in principle, the proposed amendment of the provision of the Operational Guidelines could not be applied retroactively to the case of East Rennell and expressed his reservations to this proposal. The Committee decided to revise the first sentence of this paragraph as follows:

"A site described in paragraph 44(a) should have adequate long-term legislative, regulatory, institutional or traditional protection..."

XIV.4 The Committee noted the proposal made by the Delegate of Italy concerning paragraph 65 and the recommendation of the Bureau at its twenty-second extraordinary session, that evaluations of nominations prepared by the advisory bodies would be also sent by the Secretariat to the States Parties which had nominated sites for inscription. The Representative of IUCN said that he saw the proposal of Italy as advantageous as it would formalize a process by which the States Parties concerned would receive copies of evaluations of properties they had nominated. While recognizing that there are merits in this proposal, the Committee noted that a more in-depth reflection was required and decided to request the Bureau at its twenty-third session to examine this proposal in the context of the overall revision of Section I.



XIV.5 The Committee recalled that it had already amended and adopted the proposed revisions to this Section under item 6 of the agenda (see Chapter VI of this report).

XIV.6 During the discussions on the revision of the Operational Guidelines, the Committee considered a proposal by the Delegate of Hungary, an additional item h to Section II.1.: Appropriate Geographical Information, together with the following text to be included in the Explanatory Notes:

"If appropriate geographical information is not available or incomplete, it will be necessary, in the first periodic report for the State Party to provide such information. Such geographical information should be provided in an appropriate form to assist the Centre to create and maintain a user-friendly Geographical Information System of the World Heritage properties for easy reference by the States Parties and other interested partners."

The Committee decided that this proposal needs further reflection and discussion at the twenty-third session of the Bureau.


XIV.7 The Secretariat informed the Committee that it withdrew proposed revisions to paragraphs 92 to 106 as included in Working Document WHC-98/CONF.203/16.

XIV.8 As to the budgetary ceiling for Preparatory Assistance, the Committee decided to raise the ceiling to US$ 30,000 with the understanding that the Chairperson would be authorized to approve requests up to an amount of US$ 20,000, whereas the Bureau's approval would be required for amounts between US$ 20,000 and US$30,000. The last sentence of paragraph 90 was amended as follows:

"This type of assistance known as "preparatory assistance", can take the form of consultant services, equipment or, in exceptional cases, financial grants. The budgetary ceiling for each preparatory assistance project is fixed at US$30,000. The Chairperson has the authorization to approve preparatory assistance requests up to an amount of US$ 20,000, whereas the Bureau can approve requests up to an amount of US$30,000."

XIV.9 The Committee decided to include in paragraph 107 a reference to education and information activities as follows:

"(v) Assistance for education, information and promotional activities

107. (a) at the regional and international levels: With reference to Article 27 of the Convention, the Committee has agreed to support programmes, activities and the holding of meetings that could:

- help to create interest in the Convention within the countries of a given region;

- create a greater awareness of the different issues related to the implementation of the Convention to promote more active involvement in its application;

- be a means of exchanging experiences;

- stimulate joint education, information and promotional programmes and activities, especially when they involve the participation of young people for the benefit of World Heritage conservation.

(b) at the national level:

The Committee felt that requests concerning national activities for promoting the Convention could be considered only when they concern:

meetings specifically organized to make the Convention better known, especially amongst young people, or for the creation of national World Heritage associations, in accordance with Article 17 of the Convention;

preparation of education and information material for the general promotion of the Convention and not for the promotion of a particular site, and especially for young people.

The World Heritage Fund shall provide only small contributions towards national education, information and promotional programmes and activities on a selective basis and for a maximum amount of $5,000. However, requests for sums above this amount could exceptionally be approved for projects that are of special interest: the Chairperson's agreement would be required and the maximum amount approved would be $10,000."


XIV.10 Following discussions under agenda item 9 on Fund- Raising Guidelines, the Committee decided to add the following paragraph to this Section of the Operational Guidelines:

"121. The Secretariat should refer to the "Internal Guidelines for Private Sector Fund-Raising in Favour of UNESCO" to govern external fund-raising in favour of the World Heritage Fund."

The paragraphs following 121 will be renumbered in consequence.


XIV.11 The Committee recalled that it had discussed the issue on the use of the World Heritage Emblem under agenda item 9. It decided to delete paragraphs 124 to 128 from the Operational Guidelines and to amend paragraphs 122 and 123 as follows:

"A. Use of the World Heritage Emblem and the name, symbol or depiction of World Heritage sites

122. At its second session, the Committee adopted the World Heritage Emblem which had been designed by Mr. Michel Olyff. This Emblem symbolizes the interdependence of cultural and natural properties: the central square is a form created by man and the circle represents nature, the two being intimately linked. The Emblem is round, like the world, but at the same time it is a symbol of protection. The Committee decided that the Emblem proposed by the artist (see Annex 2) could be used, in any colour or size, depending on the use, the technical possibilities and considerations of an artistic nature. The Emblem should always carry the text "World Heritage. Patrimoine Mondial". The space occupied by "Patrimonio Mundial" can be used for its translation into the national language of the country where the Emblem is to be used.

123. In order to ensure the Emblem benefits from as much visibility as possible while preventing improper uses, the Committee at its twenty-second session adopted "Guidelines and Principles for the Use of the World Heritage Emblem" which shall be considered an integral part of the Operational Guidelines for the Implementation of the World Heritage Convention, and are attached as Annex 3."

The paragraphs following 123 will be renumbered in consequence.

Themes: Operational Guidelines
Year: 1998
Decision Code: CONF 203 XIV.1-11